I will admit that it has taken me a while to find my groove this year. There is no format for my daily activities, so I had to make it all up. What I came up with at first...didn't work AT ALL. I felt like it was too chaotic.
My students need teacher guidance, but not necessarily direct instruction (ie: most don't need direct instruction on how to find the Main Idea, but they need a lot of modeling of social behaviors and how to work at that station and how to function in my classroom). I don't deal well with chaos, I prefer controlled chaos.
After Tuesday, I KNEW I had to change things. Introduce the Workshop Model. It has worked perfectly! Workshops are basically "stations/centers" but I call them Workshops because the groups and partners are collaborating and I am facilitating (not re-teaching). It works oh sooo well!
So my day looks like this:
Brain Teasers/Logic Problems
Workshop - 4 Stations (2 in the AM and 2 in the PM)
Workshop 1 - Photography (Students set up a photo that represents how they represent the 7 Scholarly Habits) around the school. This station is completed with a partner.
Workshop 2 - Bat Research (students use iPads, fiction books and expository texts to locate information about bats - they record it into a few different graphic organizers I provided). This station can be completed in partners or independently. Students also took a quiz about bats on google docs. They enjoyed that, but not as much as I anticipated.
Workshop 3 - Myth Comic Strip - Next month we're going on a field trip to a cave. When we introduced the idea of this field trip, students had many apprehensions about going into the cave and seeing bats. So we're studying about dangerous animals who get a bad reputation because of myths and urban legends. I collected a few websites and set up a Weebly Website. I LOVE it!
wingspan is more than my entire body." or "I wonder if my dog is larger than XYZ bat?"
|Sorry, I can't get the pic to turn:(|
They were super excited to use the whiteboards, so I let them draw a bat and label it. I also did an informal pre-test about their knowledge of text features (only my prior students knew the that they drew a diagram).
I did a quick read aloud, Bats at the Beach. Hilarious!! My 5th graders adored it!
We ended with a try at KidBlog. It went well, still a few kinks. I put up a blog post and wanted them to comment. It worked okay. I think they need more time that's for sure!!
Have you ever tried Kidblog, Weebly or Cameras in the classroom?
This Little Piggy is making chocolate chip cookies for dessert!!